In our dogs and horse's there are lots of causes for knee (stifle) weakness or pain. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy for us as owners to identify there’s a problem. So what signs should we be looking out for? Signs your horse has stifle pain or dysfunction:
Struggling to walk up and down hills
Dragging the hind limb especially after rest
Reluctance to pick feet up
Toe drag on hindlimbs
If you see any of these signs in your horse you should book a vet visit to make sure there’s no underlying illness or injury. Signs your dog has knee pain:
Toe drag on back legs
Reluctance to sit with limbs directly underneath them
Struggling to stand after rest
If you see any of these signs in your dog you should book a vet visit to make sure there’s no underlying illness or injury. Once you have identified there’s an issue and been to see your vet for a diagnosis or confirmation that there is no pathology then you can begin veterinary physiotherapy. Veterinary physiotherapy can be a useful tool for many knee issues. But the type of veterinary physiotherapy techniques used will vary. So what can you expect from a session? Let’s have a little look at the different knee issues your pet may have and then the type of techniques you could expect to see your veterinary physiotherapist use.
Generalised Knee pain with no underlying cause identified- laser, PEMF, TENS and massage for pain relief, PROM to improve range of motion of the stifle which in turn helps to reduce pain
Locking stifle- NMES to increase quad strength, PROM to improve stifle range of motion, massage to improve muscle tone, exercise to improve quad strength
Luxating patella- PROM to improve stifle range of motion, laser, TENS, PEMF to reduce pain, massage to increase muscle tone and exercise therapy to improve stifle motion
OA- PROM to improve stifle range of motion, PEMF and TENS to reduce pain, laser to slow disease progression and promote healing, massage to relax muscles and exercise therapy to improve range of motion
If you are unsure if your pet needs help with their knees feel free to book a free call with us here and we can help advise you on your next step, whatever that may be.